Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Pushing Up Daisey: Mencken-Loving Critic’s Sputtering Sentimental Journey | The New York Observer:

There’s a drama critic in every man (and woman, of course). Audiences can be pretty severe critics, and, in private, theater folk can be, too. An actor-writer by the name of Mike Daisey is a rarity, however: He goes onstage to criticize theater publicly.

And it pays off, apparently. Mr. Daisey’s How Theater Failed America has now moved from Joe’s Pub to the Barrow Street Theatre downtown, and judging by the enthusiastic response he received on a recent Saturday night, a lot of people are enjoying hearing him tell us how badly theater is doing.

He isn’t a happy critic, though; he’s a furious and sentimental one. He forgives theater for humiliating him (and all actors). Anyone who quotes H. L. Mencken in his program notes is the performer for me: “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

1:34 AM